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Germany Makes ‘Upskirting’ A Punishable Crime With A Sentence Of Upto 2 Years In Jail. We’re Glad Someone Is Taking This Seriously

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What I do that requires me to sit on top of important and trending stories. And being a feminist who has always sought to raise her voice against the oppression women have been subjected to, I like to believe that there is little I am not aware of, especially in the sphere of women and their rights. From the rape crimes to violating human rights, up until now, I thought I was acquainted with all the hardships a woman could possibly face, except that’s not true. I didn’t know upskirting was a thing, or that it was something that has spawned an entire industry in porn.

We are talking about the crime that is “upskirting”, where a person films or photographs a woman by placing their camera under her skirt without consent. This is often done when the woman is distracted. Be it in a crowded metro, or sometimes even at our work places, we’ve all encountered perverts who have taken advantage of their selfie sticks or the zoom feature in their camera phones to get footage when you’re vulnerable.

And while it is a crime, it is seldom even acknowledged as one but Germany has now turned it into a punishable crime. Under the legislation passed by the Bundestag lower house, the German lawmakers have decided to fine a person who commits this crime and/ or imprisonment for upto 2 years.

Also Read : A Kerala-Based Woman Lawyer Has Petitioned Against The Punishment For Triple Talaq. Why Are Women Working Against Women?

Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht spoke on the topic and said, “To photograph a woman under her skirt or her bustline, is a shameless violation of her privacy,” and also added how it violate rights to sexual self-determination. And perhaps that is why, where up until now this act of clicking unsolicited and vulgar pictures of women without consent were only met with trivial fines, we are glad to see the punishment getting stricter, with a hope that offenders might now understand the gravity of their own actions.

Jan-Marco Luczak, legal policy spokesman for Germany’s government coalition said, “That is why we are closing a major criminal liability gap.” He further also talked about how, “We, as legislators, are taking decisive action against it,” all because they also realise how such assaults can be humiliating, belittling and have adverse psychological impact on the victim.

And while there is still a long way to go to protect women in this world, and this is only a start, we are relieved to know that such crimes of sexual violence and assault against women are at least being recognised and stricter laws are being considered to create a fear of consequence among assaulters.

Also Read : More Women Are Getting Married Later, According To The SRS Of India. But Child Marriages Are On The Rise. This Is Worrying

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